The Atlanta Hawks might have an under-the-radar prime target for one of their Western Conference counterparts.
Amid the quiet period in the NBA, there are still rumblings surrounding this team, though it has little to do with their long-running pursuit of Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam, at least not directly.
“Would the Mavs love for that opportunity to be presented? Yes, they would,” said Marc Stein on ‘The Saturday Stein Line’ on July 29. “They did not at the draft. They were not willing to package number 10 and Josh Green to get Clint Capela, they deemed the price too high at that time, but the interest has not gone away.”
Capela, 29, averaged 12.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks last season.
He is starting a two-year, $45.8 million contract. Just two years removed from leading the NBA in total rebounds per game, Capela is still effective when healthy, which he surely appears to be.
Dallas and the Hawks have arguably been linked less than only the Hawks and Raptors.
There were reports that the Mavs were even interested in being the third team to help facilitate a deal landing Siakam in Atlanta and bringing Capela in, which Stein also noted.
“They would love if the chance to make another trade run at Clint Capela from the Atlanta Hawks materializes to this point,” Stein continued. “That opportunity has not availed itself to the Mavericks.”
Capela is also a trusted safety valve for Trae Young and the most physical presence on the roster as currently constructed, that is without former fellow top lob target John Collins who was traded to the Utah Jazz. But this does come in the wake of a report from Brian Windhorst that Capela is indeed on the trade block some two months away from training camp.
The Hawks do have the emerging Onyeka Okongwu whose flashes and looming contract situation could weigh heavily in any future planning.
Mavericks had interest in Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter
Previous reporting from ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on ‘Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective’ also noted that the sticking point was the Hawks wanted Green or fellow promising youngster Jaden Hardy which was a “no go” for Dallas. They were said to have held an interest in forward De’Andre Hunter too.
“I don’t know exactly what the discussions were with De’Andre Hunter as the player who would have been coming here,” MacMahon continued on the June 23 episode of the podcast. “I do know that some people within the Mavs looked at said like the player but not at that money.”
Hunter, 25, is starting a four-year, $90 million contract this season and has taken over Collins’ post as the Hawks player most often mentioned in trade rumors.
All of it sounds like something can be done, and that there is something in it for all sides – perhaps the Hawks re-route Green or Hardy to Toronto to grease the wheels. It also does not sound as though anything is close to imminent.
This is still the bones of the team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021 but that is getting further and further from being the case with just five players remaining from that squad next season. With so many changes taking place in the last year alone, it would not be surprising to see the Hawks let some of this play out into the season.
They have not been shy about making in-season trades under this front office regime, having made two at the deadline in February.